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Astronomy Student's Disappointment


Ad Astra
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and as to anyone thinking its "morally reprehensible" what they are doing...just think about the billions of pounds/dollars that the cosmetics industry generates

That doesn't affect this though.

Two wrongs don't make a right...

Finding a worse example, doesn't make this "less bad" :)

(since there are thousands of worse examples - and it doesn't mean we have to clean those up first! :eek: )

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That doesn't affect this though.

Two wrongs don't make a right...

Finding a worse example, doesn't make this "less bad" :)

(since there are thousands of worse examples - and it doesn't mean we have to clean those up first! :eek: )

im not trying to say that, im trying to say that whilst $400 is a lot for a pretty poor quality telescope, its better than having nothing, and things like wobbly legs etc, can be easily fixed for beer money prices. now if the entire optics are shoddy thats a different matter.

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Many new people to SGL post that they have a limited budget, yet want goto telescopes. The advice is usually that their money is going into the electrics rather than the optics.

This strikes me as an extreme example.

If the companies who make and supply these telescopes were doing something wrong I have little doubt that they would have been prosecuted, and convicted, to dissuade them from doing so again in future. Google has not been my friend and turned up anything in the UK to show this has happened.

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the thing is, is that meade can sell a lot more $400 telescopes than $4000 ones, if the profit margins are similar, they might sell 20 at $400 for every one at $4000...thats a big increase in revenue.

the only problem is if that sloppy manufacturing starts to progress up the chain, but they have too much competition from celestron to let that happen.

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"False advertising" cannot be outlawed. Just look at the 'adorned' vs. 'unadorned' photos of the glamour pusses (to say nothing of the many more ordinary distaff users of said products). It would make criminals of too many of our wives, sisters, mothers, aunts, cousins . . . :)

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"False advertising" cannot be outlawed. Just look at the 'adorned' vs. 'unadorned' photos of the glamour pusses (to say nothing of the many more ordinary distaff users of said products). It would make criminals of too many of our wives, sisters, mothers, aunts, cousins . . . :)

Speak for yourself...my wife is Aphrodite incarnate :eek:

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"False advertising" cannot be outlawed.

I'm sorry, but false advertising is outlawed in the UK, as most UK residents are very much aware. It is policed by the ASA <click> and it's on a regular basis that you will read that an advert by a well-known brand has been banned and forbidden to be republished. Recent adjudications can be seen here <click>

Here is a typical example:

Coca Cola Great Britain, 27th April 2011

...We considered that consumers would understand the word "nutritious" in the context of the advert as a claim that Vitaminwater contained added ingredients that were needed by the body in order to stay healthy. However, we considered that they would not expect a "nutritious" drink to have the equivalent of four or five teaspoons of added sugar. Because Vitaminwater contained about a quarter of a consumers GDA for sugar as well as the added vitamins, we considered that the description of Vitaminwater as "nutritious" was misleading.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 11) clause 7.1 (Truthfulness).

Action

The ad should not appear again in its current form.

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If the companies who make and supply these telescopes were doing something wrong I have little doubt that they would have been prosecuted

Then your faith in the justice system is very much misplaced :)

(I'm surprised how many people still believe the law somehow "protects" them.)

Prosecution is not automatic. It has to have someone to champion the cause and push for it to happen. Having spoken at length to the government's Trading Standards advisors on Consumer Direct in some detail yesterday on this kind of issue, I can state with confidence that whilst the UK law is more than reasonably clear on what your rights are, actually enforcing those rights is very difficult indeed.

Edited by great_bear
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Good News:

The student who got the wobbly scope told me that he has built a new dobsonian style mount for it out of plywood, and that it seems to be working better. He promised to bring it by on Friday - I will take some photos and show them off here.

Dan

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Then your faith in the justice system is very much misplaced :)

(I'm surprised how many people still believe the law somehow "protects" them.)

Prosecution is not automatic. It has to have someone to champion the cause and push for it to happen. Having spoken at length to the Government's Trading Standards Advisors in detail yesterday on this kind of issue, I can state with confidence that whilst the UK law is more than reasonably clear on what your rights are, actually enforcing those rights is very difficult indeed.

I'm not completely wet behind the ears :eek:

A friend of mine works for Trading Standards so I do understand how they work. I also know that amongst their powers they can, and usually as a last resort, do, bring prosecutions against both individuals and companies.

I just haven't found any info on successful prosecutions in the UK relating to telescopes as described by Ad Astra. That could mean that alternative actions were enough to deal with a complaint, or it could mean that there is no case to answer.

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frankly, the idea the trading standards would seek to "prosecute" a telescope manufacturer for saying "up to 675x magnification" and selling it with a wobbly mount is ludicrous - basically, in almost any "leisure" field, if you buy something cheap with bells and whistles it will be rubbish whether it's a cheap mountain bike, a cheap guitar, a cheap fishing set blah blah blah blah blah - there's a huge market for idiots who will base their decision on whatever it says on the box does the most.

Whether manufacturers should be allowed to get away with it is another question - I, for one say they should as I am a liberal and believe in government intervention only when absolutely necessary (ie not letting us kill each other or steal other folks telescopes:glasses1:).

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there's a huge market for idiots [...] I, for one say they should as I am a liberal and believe in government intervention only when absolutely necessary

The "liberal" viewpoint falls down, because you're judging people by your own standards. i.e. you expect others to have the same level of capability as yourself - hence your use of the word "idiots".

There are plenty of people who are less capable, and are not "idiots", and are also entitled to protection - such as the elderly (who grew up in more innocent times), and non-native residents who may not be familliar with a culture of dishonesty.

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I just haven't found any info on successful prosecutions in the UK relating to telescopes as described by Ad Astra. That could mean that alternative actions were enough to deal with a complaint, or it could mean that there is no case to answer.

- or (and far more likely) no-one could be bothered doing anything about it. Even with mis-sold or faulty goods, most people just "make do" as they don't like to be seen "making a fuss".

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the liberal viewpoint may not be perfect but it beats most of the alternatives.

as I said, it's a balance to be drawn between having a gvoernment that interferes in every aspect of our lives and having a few idiots who fall through the cracks and buy rubbish scopes.

would you like to have a government department dealing specifically with wobbly scopes that over-egg their usable magnification?

protecting vulnerable old folks for example against cowboy builders is one of the really useful things that trading standards actually do. would you divert them from that to the wobbly scope problem? resources are scarce.

ps I'd love to visit one of these countries where they have "no culture of dishonesty"

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the liberal viewpoint may not be perfect but it beats most of the alternatives.

Those (such as my wife) who've dedicate their careers to putting back together the lives of the abused and exploited would disagree - but hey, we're veering dangerously into politics here, which is strictly off-bounds on SGL :)

would you like to have a government department dealing specifically with wobbly scopes that over-egg their usable magnification?

I fear that you may be over-estimating the resources required :eek:

Edited by great_bear
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Those (such as my wife) who've dedicate their careers to putting back together the lives of the abused and exploited would disagree - but hey, we're veering dangerously into politics here, which is strictly off-bounds on SGL :)

I fear that you may be over-estimating the resources required :o

they might - then again, they might not if they looked at the alternatives - in other words, just cos things are **** here, doesnt mean they're any better elsewhere. But you're right, no politics :)

have you seen how they run the NHS ?! :eek:

ps i enjoyed reading your posts in this thread :eek:

Edited by kniclander
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- or (and far more likely) no-one could be bothered doing anything about it. Even with mis-sold or faulty goods, most people just "make do" as they don't like to be seen "making a fuss".

Every stereotype has exceptions :)

The thing about 'most people' means there would be a minority who would complain - I know I would, so that's one.

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frankly, the idea the trading standards would seek to "prosecute" a telescope manufacturer for saying "up to 675x magnification" and selling it with a wobbly mount is ludicrous - basically, in almost any "leisure" field, if you buy something cheap with bells and whistles it will be rubbish whether it's a cheap mountain bike, a cheap guitar, a cheap fishing set blah blah blah blah blah - there's a huge market for idiots who will base their decision on whatever it says on the box does the most.

I'm not suggesting Trading Standards should be prosecuting anyone :)

I've also played some very acceptable cheap guitars as it happens :eek:, and I don't consider myself to be an idiot - slightly eccentric perhaps :)

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- and as it turns out, it's quite hard to buy bad guitars these days - at least from a guitar shop. Manufacturing standards and price reductions have come on so much that most now have good intonation, and either are - or can be - lined up properly without issues.

Maybe one day it will happen to scopes, too! :)

Edited by great_bear
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- and as it turns out, it's quite hard to buy bad guitars these days - at least from a guitar shop. Manufacturing standards and price reductions have come on so much that most now have good intonation, and either are - or can be - lined up properly without issues.

Maybe one day it will happen to scopes, too! :eek:

and was that down to governemnt intervention or market forces? :)

interestingly, a good place to buy a really rubbish guitar is toys r us and a good place to buy a really rubbish scope is.... toys r us. i would say that it's also actually pretty hard to buy a rubbish scope from a scope shop.

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i would say that it's also actually pretty hard to buy a rubbish scope from a scope shop.

Gentlemen, I think we have arrived at the answer :)

In fact I've been to my local astro shop this morning and had a good look round at the shiny telescopes. I was really after a collimating device but even though the website said they had stock, they didn't (guess where?) so I've returned empty handed :eek:

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I´m new to this hobby but my list of things to buy is ever increasing and the wish list can´t be shown to the wife,.......well,not just yet anyway! If I had bought a bad scope from Meade (which I thought until today was a good company) I wouldn´t be spending any more money which would be bad for this industry.If we want great new products in the future we need as many happy astronomers as possible.

I think Meade is shooting itself in the foot! :)

Tom

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